Lobby & petition against TH Council’s full adoption of the IHRA definition

TH Palestine Solidarity Campaign will lobby TH Council next month (5.45-7.30pm at the Town Hall on Weds 21 Nov) to express our concerns over the recent adoption of the full IHRA definition of antisemitism.

Councillors were reportedly pushed into voting in favour of it resulting in an unanimous vote that could restrict our ability to campaign for Palestine in the borough.

We are also urging supporters of Palestine and free speech, who live, work or study in Tower hamlets, to sign our petition (petition now closed) calling for the Council to include a caveat to the adopted IHRA definition that will protect our right to legitimately criticise the Israeli State, its policies, Zionist ideology, as well as support and advocate for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. Please email us if you would like a paper version of the petition.

Background

In an era when the far-right is growing in confidence it is more important than ever to stand against Holocaust denial,, anti-Jewish conspiracy theories and any other forms of antisemetic prejudice and hatred.

However, many of the examples which accompany the IHRA definition systematically conflate opposition to Israel with antisemitism, threatening to undermine many years of practical solidarity with the Palestinian people in the face of decades of dispossession and occupation.

We note that the motion to adopt the full IHRA definition was moved by Conservative councillors, whose party has been at the forefront of promoting Islamophobia and the racist ‘hostile environment’ that has affected the lives of so many of our residents.

Click here to read more about the Council’s adoption of the full definition of the IHRA and our concerns.

Further information is also available on the excellent Free Speech on Israel website.

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THJFA Stage Boycott Action: Boycott Israel, Buy Palestinian!

Tower Hamlets Jenin Friendship Association & others team up with clear message: Boycott Israel, Buy Palestinian!

On Saturday, Tower Hamlets Jenin Friendship Association teamed up with other local groups including Tower Hamlets Stop the War Coalition, Hackney PSC and Haringey Justice for Palestinians on the streets of Whitechapel to ask the public to refrain from buying Israeli produce and support Palestine by buying Palestinian!

Members of THJFA and Tower Hamlets Stop the War made speeches about the military aggression in the Middle East and its consequences for the civilians who live there.

We spoke to local people about Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s ‘Taste the Indifference’ campaign and gave out postcards for people to send requesting that Sainsbury’s join the Co-operative supermarket in refusing to stock goods from illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land.

After this, some local activists took this message straight to Sainsbury’s and unfurled banners reading ‘End Israeli Apartheid’ and ‘Boycott Israel, Buy Palestinian’. You can see some of the photos of this Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions action here.

Sainsbury’s decided that they didn’t want their customers hearing this message and used eight security guards to physically prevent activists from entering their Whitechapel store, which can be seen in this video. Plain clothes police then arrived and claimed local people who were protesting about the illegal goods were trespassing and would be arrested. At this point, local people who joined the protest decided to leave and marched out of the store with their banners, chanting.

It was a really successful day and thank you to everyone who came along to the stall and/or the BDS action. We will be organising more stalls and BDS actions – keep posted on our website and Facebook page

Bin Veolia in Tower Hamlets: Launch Meeting

We will be launching our campaign to rid Tower Hamlets of Veolia, a multinational highly complicit in serving the Israeli settlements. Our launch meeting will be on Wednesday 29th February at 7.30pm at Praxis in Tower Hamlets. Local Respect councillor Fozol Miah, Independent councillor Rania Khan, Yael Khan of No2VAG and Salim Alam, chair of West London PSC will be speaking. Labour councillors were invited but none are able to attend.

Bin Veolia Event

SAY NO TO APARTHEID: BIN VEOLIA!

Veolia is once again sponsoring the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum. Find out more about the campaign against Veolia’s sponsorship on the London BDS website

Join us on Saturday, 5 November between 12-2pm outside the Natural History Museum, near the Exhibition Road entrance, London SW7 5BD. All welcome.

Nearest Tube: South Kensington on the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines.

Buses: 14, 49, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414 and C1.

Updated pages!

Our website has recently been updated with information on the upcoming youth visit (see News), a new twinning between Newham and Jenin Refugee Camp (see above) and will soon feature a brand new video about visits (Visits page)

There is also information on the No2Veolia campaign which is lobbying for a removal of Veolia from the tendering of a lucrative contract for North London. We support this campaign and are doing our bit to make sure Veolia does not get a renewal of its waste disposal contract and is removed as soon as possible from our borough.